If/When/How’s Quick Question series highlights the work of our Reproductive Justice Fellows, introducing our network to the incredible advocates who are dedicating their lives to the movement to lawyer for reproductive justice. We’re so proud of the work they’re doing at placement organizations across the country. But we can’t support them without you: Please donate $10 to help us give aspiring and new lawyers the resources they need to thrive. And if you can’t give — share!
Grabiela Dijali Hernandez attained her juris doctorate from Emory Law School in Atlanta, Georgia. Grabiela was raised in South Florida and began manifesting her passion for women’s rights in high school, through slam-poetry. She continues to write on her days off and is currently working on a poetry book centered around gender justice and a coming-of-age story.
Upon graduating high school in 2016, with a little over a years’ worth of college credits, she moved to Miami to begin her studies at Florida International University. Within three years, Grabiela graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a pre-law certificate.
Grabiela graduated from Florida International University in 2019, and moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan – her hometown, to begin her post-graduate academic career at Western Michigan Cooley Law School.
At Cooley, Grabiela presided over the Organization of Women Law Students, hosting events that discussed issues relating to women in the law and aimed to connect members with a broader professional support community. Grabiela received highest honors, and was awarded dean’s list Michaelmas 2020, and Trinity 2021 terms. Grabiela received her first Credit Merit award in criminal law in Michaelmas 2020, and her second in property law in Trinity 2021.
August of 2021, Grabiela transferred to Emory Law and immersed herself in various professional learning experiences outside of the academic classroom. She was a member of the legislative policy and advocacy clinic where she observed and pushed for bills at the Georgia capitol related to juvenile justice and child welfare. Summer of 2022, Grabiela had the opportunity to intern with the honorable judge Rachel Krause from the Fulton County Superior Court where she observed trials and refined her research and writing skills. During Grabiela’s last year at Emory, she spent two semesters as a legal extern with Mosaic Georgia’s Children’s Sexual Assault and Advocacy Center where she had the opportunity to utilize the law and judicial system to help women, men, and children of marginalized communities in civil disputes stemming from a sexual assault. Throughout Grabiela’s academic career, she worked full-time in various positions such as a server, and front desk receptionist. Since moving to Atlanta, Grabiela has been bartending in a craft cocktail bar discovering a new passion for wine, beer, and spirits.
We asked Grabiela Hernandez to tell us a little about herself as she prepares to begin her Reproductive Justice Fellowship year at SisterLove, Inc. this fall.
If/When/How: Who are you?
Grabiela Hernandez: My name is Grabiela D. Hernandez (She/Her/Ella). I was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan and raised in Tri-County, South Florida. I am Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Salvadorian; however, I only had the opportunity to live in Puerto Rico for three years when I was around five years old. Though I was young, living in Puerto Rico with my grandparents were some of the best years of my life.
I am a first-generation student. I attended undergrad at Florida International University in Miami, Florida where I attained a bachelor’s degree in political science, and a pre-law certificate. Upon graduation, I moved to Michigan to attend Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, and after a year, I transferred to Emory Law. I now reside in Atlanta and am a 3L transfer student at Emory Law.
If/When/How: Where are you going? (You can treat this question literally or existentially)
GH: I am going towards a career in women’s rights as it relates and intersects with criminal law. Through If/When/How’s RJ fellowship program, I have the opportunity to be a 23-24 Reproductive Justice – HIV fellow at SisterLove, Inc. I am excited to be staying in Atlanta for another year as I have grown to love it. I plan to utilize this opportunity to fight for gender justice and bodily autonomy – with law, and public policy. Eventually, I hope to look back on my career and know that I spent my time empowering women, and cultivating a career that I, and my family, can be proud of.
If/When/How: What makes you powerful?
GH: My family makes me powerful. I have five little brothers, and one older sister who I am close to in age. Every move I make in life that relates to my career, I keep them in mind. I want them to know that if their big sister did it, they can too. They can dream big. I am also a daughter to an immigrant, and of parents who were teenagers themselves when my sister and I were born. Seeing them work as hard as they did to provide for my sister and I – exemplified the true meaning of strength in the midst of adversity. Without knowing it, they taught me that when you really want something you don’t make excuses. Now, I can say my best trait is my unmatched work-ethic and tenacity.